Same sex couples are one of the main forces pushing the UK housing market, according to a new report.

One in nine people (13%) are planning on buying a new home in the next 12 months, and it’s twenty-something’s (22%), same sex couples (21%) and singletons (17%) – not the traditional 2.4 child families that are driving the UK’s housing market, according to new research from mortgage lender Birmingham Midshires ‘Not so Average Joe’ campaign.

The study found that as many as 41 per cent of same sex couples and single people see their next purchase as a good way to make money on house price rises, compared with just 24 per cent of average 2.4 child families buying their next property as an investment.

At a time when house prices are rising at their fastest rate for two years, the latest findings show that as many as 28 per cent of homebuyers plan to purchase a new property within the next 12 months as an investment. More than one in ten (12%) homebuyers will be downsizing and buying something more modest.

As part of an ongoing study of the specialist mortgage market, Birmingham Midshires asked a representative sample of 2,000 people in the UK whether they were intending to buy a house in the next 12 months and the reason for the purchase.

Tim Hague, managing director of mortgages at Birmingham Midshires said: “There is no such thing as an ‘average’ borrower in modern Britain, yet many financial services companies continue to target mortgage products that respond to an outdated picture of British life – a picture that may include two parents, two children a golden Labrador and a mid range family car.

“The ‘Not so average Joe’ campaign looks in detail at how demographic and social changes in Britain today are creating an environment where being outside the mainstream – the average 2.4 child family – is in fact the driver for today’s mortgage needs.”